[time-nuts] Lots of Off Topic discussion

Peter Laws plaws0 at gmail.com
Sat Sep 1 14:02:35 EDT 2018

On Sat, Sep 1, 2018 at 9:15 AM David G. McGaw
<david.g.mcgaw at dartmouth.edu> wrote:

> available methods of time dissemination.  I am very concerned that
> factions of NIST consider that this should no longer be part of their
> mission.

1) WWV* systems are not critical to anything I have found other than
WWVB being used to keep "atomic clocks" in sync and updated for DST.
I've asked in many places but other than two recent papers that used
WWV HF signals with the Long Wavelength Array to do some ionospheric
measurements I can't find any evidence that the signals are critical
to anything in science.

2) Anyone that *needs* accurate time to within a few ms of UTC uses
NTP.  Anyone who thinks they need more precision than that can look at
PTP (usually deciding that NTP is plenty good once they see what it
will cost them for PTP).  All current consumer operating systems (OS
X, iOS, Android, Windows, etc) have some form of NTP client built in.

3) Is no one familiar with the US federal budgeting process?  Really?
The executive branch (Commerce is a cabinet-level department therein)
submits to the legislative branch the budget for what they claim they
will need for the upcoming fiscal year.  This is made up from
estimates of each cabinet member (and others) who get their numbers
from the various institutions within their silos (e.g., NIST under
Commerce).  Because no department head wants their budget cut, they
ensure that items put up for "cutting" are ones that the public is
most likely to complain (to congress) about.  A quick google didn't
tell me when the executive branch last submitted a budget that was
actually in balance but I'm sure it's been 35 years at least despite
the alleged cutting.  And it doesn't matter because the executive
budget is routinely ignored by the body that is actually in charge of
spending, congress.

4) I don't think I've ever seen an NTP server that used WWV* as their
reference clock (it's listed in the output of the query command)
because GPS is ubiquitous.  "Yeah, but Carrington!"  I am not certain,
but given that in the US, the Navstar GPS is a US military system run
by the US military for US military purposes (which happens to have a
signal available to civilians) that the designers were not only aware
of solar physics but used that awareness to make the GPS system as
resilient as they could to the potential effects of CMEs and flares.
So for me, the "GPS COULD FAIL!" argument does nothing.

I'd rather read about Earth tides affecting time measurements.  Or
proper care and feeding of your Cs oscillator.

Peter Laws | N5UWY | plaws plaws net | Travel by Train!

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